March Publications

A 1920s postcard, which Torie O'Shea finds among the effects of her late boss, Sylvia, sends the Missouri genealogist on a quest into the past that leads her to question the naturalness of the 102-year-old Sylvia's death. Thicker than Water: A Torie O'Shea Mystery, the enchanting eighth entry in Rett MacPherson's cozy series (after 2004's In Sheep's Clothing), offers cleverly drawn characters, a well-developed plot, an exciting climax and an appealing view of life in a Mississippi River town. Agent, Merrilee Heifetz. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $22.95 242p ISBN 0-312-33408-7)

In Mignon F. Ballard's Too Late for Angels: An Augusta Goodnight Mystery, the lighthearted fifth book in her otherworldly cozy series (after 2003's The Angel Whispered Danger), the irrepressible angel helps widow Lucy Nan Pilgrim investigate two murders in bucolic Stone's Throw, S.C. An adorable puppy, a little romance, some divine intervention and the aromas of delicious foods simmering on the stove (recipes included) will generate smiles and send many readers to the kitchen. Agent, Laura Langlie. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 288p ISBN 0-312-33186-X)

Badger's Moon: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland, the 14th Sister Fidelma novel by the prolific and versatile British author Peter Tremayne, delivers a baffling fair-play puzzle. At the behest of her brother, the king of one of Ireland's five provinces, the brilliant, resourceful and very human Fidelma looks into the murder of a young girl, butchered as if by a wild animal, after a full moon. The book ends with a cliff-hanger that will have Fidelma fans old and new on the edge of their seats. Agent, Charles Schlessiger at Brandt & Hochman. (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 288p ISBN 0-312-32341-7) Like its predecessor, Jackson Park (2003), Charlotte Carter's Trip Wire: A Cook County Mystery, juxtaposes an intriguing whodunit against the background of the turbulent politics of the Vietnam War era. When two of Cassandra Perry's roommates are brutally murdered at their North Side Chicago commune, the young, brassy and bright African-American once again turns detective. Carter is also the author of the Nanette Hayes mystery series. Agent, Ira Silverberg. (Ballantine/One World, $12.95 paper 192p ISBN 0-345-44769-7)